Sun Valley Co. signs Picabo Street settlement
Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber a party to the settlement
By RON SOBLE
Sun Valley Co. has signed its settlement agreement with champion ski racer
Picabo Street, but two other parties to the lawsuit havent yet put their signatures
on the pact, Wally Huffman, the resorts general manager, said yesterday.
Huffman disclosed in a telephone interview that one of the parties
required to sign the agreement is the Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce, which
hadnt been named as a defendant.
He said he expected the other parties--the chamber and Streets
lawyers--to sign the papers in "seven to 10 days."
Streets suit, filed in federal court in Boise last December,
contended the resort should pay damages to her for the unauthorized use of her name in its
magazine and Internet advertising.
Huffman didnt disclose the financial amount of the settlement.
If the lawsuit had gone forward, Huffman said, "[the chamber] would
certainly be a party. Its prudent to include them in any settlement."
In her lawsuit, Street declared, "Sun Valley Co. and the Sun
Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce devised" the ad campaign.
The chambers lawyer, Ben Wurst, of the Ketchum-based law firm of
Speck & Aanestad, said in a telephone conversation yesterday that he hadnt yet
seen the final agreement and couldnt comment on it.
He did say, however, that Huffmans observation was correctthat
"more likely than not" the chamber would have been named as a defendant if the
litigation had gone forward.
Wurst said he couldnt comment on whether the chamber would have to
contribute to the settlement.
Denver-based attorney Kevin Evans, of the firm Hogan & Hartson, who is
Streets lead counsel, said he, too, hadnt received the papers, but that
"we had no intention" of making the chamber a defendant in the case.
"Theres no liability to the chamber on this," he said.
Evans, commenting in a telephone interview yesterday, said Street "made a conscious
decision based on the facts as we knew them" not to name the chamber. Nevertheless,
he agreed with Huffman that it was "prudent" to have the chamber sign the
Besides the Sun Valley Co., the other defendant named in the litigation
was Sinclair Oil, owned by billionaire entrepreneur Earl Holding, the resorts chief
Huffman said of the emerging settlement, which he said he signed on
Monday, that "its good all the way around. Its good for the Sun Valley
Co., its good for Picabo and its good for the community."
Huffman left open the possibility of "utilizing Picabo" in some
supportive role with the Sun Valley Co., but he did not elaborate.
Street, 28, is currently under contract with Park City Mountain Resort as
director of skiing.
A Wood River Valley native, Street has won two World Cup downhill titles
and Olympic gold and silver medals.